Food News

New Cafe That Hires People With Developmental Disabilities Open in Sylvan Thirty

New Cafe That Hires People With Developmental Disabilities Open in Sylvan Thirty
courtesy Shayna's Place Cafe
click to enlarge A new cafe in Sylvan Thirty has a goal beyond just slinging sandwiches — Shayna's Place Cafe wants to give employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. - COURTESY SHAYNA'S PLACE CAFE
A new cafe in Sylvan Thirty has a goal beyond just slinging sandwiches — Shayna's Place Cafe wants to give employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities.
courtesy Shayna's Place Cafe

As of this week, there's a new restaurant in the West Dallas development Sylvan Thirty, and it's a cafe with a cause: Shayna's Place Cafe, a family-owned eatery "dedicated to providing employment opportunities for people with special needs," according to a press release. The restaurant is in soft-open this week and celebrates its grand opening on Nov. 2.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu is simple: sandwiches, salads, fresh juice, smoothies and coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters. But Shayna's Place has a mission deeper than its menu: to provide employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities.

“Shayna’s Place represents a message of love and acceptance, where people from all walks of life can come together and enjoy a nutritious meal," owner Lou Olerio said in a press release. "The Sylvan | Thirty community has already shown its appreciation for the mission, and we look forward to our continued positive impact on the area."

click to enlarge The menu is simple, with salads, sandwiches, fresh juice and smoothies. - COURTESY SHAYNA'S PLACE CAFE
The menu is simple, with salads, sandwiches, fresh juice and smoothies.
courtesy Shayna's Place Cafe
The concept is inspired by Olerio's cousin Shayna, who has Down syndrome. "However, her family prefers to call it Up Syndrome since Shayna serves as a constant source of encouragement and inspiration for many people," according to the release.


This is the restaurant's first location outside of its home base in Rhode Island. Take a look at the menu below.

Shayna's Place Cafe, 1868 Sylvan Ave. (West Dallas). Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
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Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and Cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season and the importance of local and regional foodways.
Contact: Beth Rankin